WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange married his lawyer fiancée on Wednesday at Belmarsh prison in south-east London, where he is being held as he fights his extradition to the US on flight charges suspected of classified documents. Assange, 50, and his South African-born partner Stella Moris, 38, have two sons together, Gabriel, four, and Max, two.
Moris, wearing a wedding dress designed by British designer and Assange supporter Dame Vivienne Westwood, arrived at the prison with her sons and Assange’s father, Richard, and brother Gabriel. Westwood also designed a kilt for the groom, as a nod to his Scottish heritage.
“Today is my wedding day. I will marry the love of my life,” Moris wrote in the Guardian ahead of the small ceremony held under strict prison rules. “My future husband is the father of our two sons, he is a wonderful, intelligent and funny man, he has a deep sense of right and wrong and he is known all over the world for his courageous work as an editor”, she says.
“This is not a prison wedding, this is a declaration of love and resilience despite prison walls, despite political persecution, despite arbitrary detention, despite the harm and harassment inflicted on Julian and our family. Their torment only strengthens our love,” she said.
Moris claimed that behind the scenes the couple had been locked in a dispute with the UK Ministry of Justice and prison authorities, who had refused their offered witnesses and a photographer for the event because they were journalists.
“The prison says our wedding photo poses a security risk because it could end up on social media or in the press. This is nonsense,” she wrote, adding that Assange’s family will continue to fight for his freedom. The UK Prison Service said photography for prison weddings is carried out by prison staff to adhere to an established policy against the photography of prisoners.
“All prison weddings must meet the requirements set out in Prison Service policy,” a Prison Service spokesperson said. In addition to two security guards, four guests and two witnesses were allowed to attend Wednesday’s ceremony.